The state is projected to offer about $300 million is need-based aid this year.
But financial officials say there is increased competition for that money, so students need to submit their applications on time.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, is all you need to submit. The form ,allows any prospective student to apply for loans and federal and state grants.
Awards are calculated based on the financial information provided by students and their parents.
One of the most important things for applicants to remember is to apply on time. If you don't, you risk losing out of all of the low-interest loans and grants offered through the federal government.
Money is distributed first to students who apply by the deadlines set by their college.
Ben Kittner, a spokesman for the College Foundation Inc., said experienced financial aid professionals will volunteer across the state Saturday to walk people through the application process.
Last year, 3,600 people attended the free sessions, and many left with completed forms.
"The earlier you do it, the better off you are, because there's a finite amount of money," he said.
SITES for FAFSA DAY
DURHAM: H.M. Michaux School of Education at N.C. Central University, 1801 Fayetteville St.
LOUISBURG: Louisburg College library, 501 N. Main St.
PITTSBORO: State Employees' Credit Union, 35 Industrial Drive
RALEIGH: Science and Math Building at Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough St.; Student Services Building at Wake Technical Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Road.
SMITHFIELD: Wilson Building at Johnston Community College, 245 College Road.
- The program is meant for high school seniors and their parents. To register, click here, go to the map and click on the county where you would like to register or call 866-866-2362.
- Bring student's and parents' federal 1040 tax forms and W-2 forms for 2008 to the session (even if you haven't finished your taxes, the form can be completed with data from the W2).
- It's helpful, though not required, to register for a personal identification number beforehand on the federal education department's Web site,www.pin.ed.gov.
- It's also helpful to complete a pre-application worksheet, available at